Category: Thrifty Bloggers

Building on a Budget: How Much Does a Website Cost (And How to Save!)

how much does a website costLaunching a website?

Before you take one more step forward, first consider how much you need for a good web design, hosting, and other services.

A great website design is not only about the looks but also about the function and efficiency. With that said, building a website isn’t as simple as choosing the right images, graphics, font, and colors.

That’s why many rely on a professional instead to build a website. They’ll only have to say what they want, and a web designer will be able to bring their ideas to life – at a cost.

If you’re thinking of launching a website, you might be wondering how much does a website cost. Well, you’ll have to prepare for it to eat your budget. Read on to find out how much you’ll need to prepare.

How Much Does a Website Cost?

The average website cost is about $5,000 to $10,000 for a custom design, and you’ll even have to prepare more if you want something of higher quality by a more talented web designer.

What makes it so expensive, anyway? Take a look at the basic factors that add up to the total cost of a website.

Registering and Hosting Your Website

The first step in building a website is to register your domain and find a host, but thanks to web hosting companies, you can do both in one easy step. They can do both for you and the only thing you have to do is pay a certain fee.

The prices vary among companies and packages, and which one you should get depends on your needs. For example, a shared hosting plan is always the cheapest option, but it has its drawbacks. A dedicated server would cost a lot more, but you won’t have to share resources with other websites.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to over $1,000 in this step alone, depending on your plan.

Designing Your Website

What drives up the website design cost is the creation of the design itself. In this step, you’ll have to learn how to do it yourself or have a professional do it for you. The latter option is always the best choice if you can afford it, which allows you to focus on your business.

A professional will have a great eye for design, colors, typography, and such. Moreover, he/she will also be able to keep the backend design neat and efficient. However, hiring a professional web designer alone will cost you thousands of dollars.

You’ll have to think more than twice if you want to hire a web designer to build a custom website for you. Assess your needs and decide according to them.

Maintaining Your Website

Once you’ve set up and built your website, you’ll need to maintain it. It can set you back hundreds of dollars, and it’s an ongoing cost. This includes your domain name fees, the hosting service, and the webmaster fees.

The webmaster is usually the one who designed it, which is the perfect set-up since he/she will have the knowledge on how it operates. His/her tasks include making sure the website is functioning as normal and make changes or updates if necessary.

How to Save on Web Design

Want to know how much does it cost to build a website? Why not figure out how to save on web design, instead? Follow the tips below if you’re on a shoestring budget.

Know What You Want

Having a clear understanding of your website needs will allow you to control the cost better. You’ll be able to communicate the priorities to the web designer, eliminating inessential web elements that will only drive up the cost.

Giving the web designer an idea of your budget helps, too. They can communicate which will fit your budget and which ones won’t.

Research some ideas and looks that you want to achieve with your website. Then, ask the designer if they’re visible.

Choose Affordable Hosting Sites

There are tons of cheap hosting websites out there, but you’ll have to be careful. You need one with reliable performance as you don’t want your website to be going down at every slight inconvenience.

You may choose to start at one of the cheapest plans, even if you have to share resources. If you find that it’s enough for you, then that’s great. If not, you can always upgrade your plan.

However, if you’ll run an e-commerce website, you might want to have a dedicated server at the get-go.

Use a Template

You don’t always have to build a website from the ground up. You can do that by using a template, which can be free or with a price tag.

Of course, there’s a chance that you’ll be sharing the same template as another website. If the thought scares you, you can have a web designer customize it.

This is still cheaper than ordering for a custom web design, which can cost thousands of dollars. You can expect to pay about $300 to $1,000 for a template customization.

Use Free Photos

Professional photos are a must in every website, but they’re rather expensive to obtain. Even a subscription to a stock photo service will put a huge dent on your budget.

Before doing so, why not try looking for free stock photos on websites like Flickr? There are a lot of photos there that are free to use for your website or content.

Do note, however, that you need to pay attention to the copyright restrictions. There are images that are free to use in any medium, while there are some images that the contributor prohibits you from using it in an editorial content, for example. Some photos also require an attribution to the source.

Make sure you follow these requirements to avoid any legal issues.

Take Advantage of Free Web Builders

Are you okay with doing everything yourself? Try some free website builders, which usually have simple instructions. In most of them, you only have to drag and drop elements to customize the look of your website.

You’ll have to learn more about these things, though, so that you can be more confident about creating your own website. It’s not always the best route, but it sure is cheap.

Want to Know More?

How much does a website cost? Following this guide, it can cost as little as $100 to over $1,000 depending on your needs.

It’s time to decide on a way to approach it without breaking the bank. We hope the tips above help you build an affordable yet functional website.

If you want to learn more about how to save, visit our blog today. Learn some tips on how to save on other things, such as throwing a wedding.

Thinking About Starting a Personal Mom Blog? 4 Tips for Guaranteed Success

personal blogpersonal blog

With over 4.4 million mommy blogs on the blogosphere, the mom blog industry has never been livelier!

This, though, packs both good and bad news for aspiring mommy bloggers. Good because such a high number means mommies around the country and beyond are running blogs, there is no reason you shouldn’t. Bad because 4.4 million blogs means fierce competition. Creating a standout personal blog with a loyal readership won’t be a joke.

But that’s why we are here. To make seemingly tall mountains easier to climb.

In this article, we’re giving you 5 tips that’ll guarantee your blog hits success. Keep reading!

1. What Kind of Mom Are You?

On the web, authenticity is a valuable currency. People want to read authentic stories, see authentic photos, view authentic videos…authentic everything.

As an aspiring mommy blogger, the kind of mom you’re will define your authenticity. You certainly don’t want to start a blog that looks and feels like a million other blogs, do you?

Are you a helicopter mom? Competitive mom? Wine mom? Exhausted mom? Perfectionist mom? If you haven’t figured your mommy style, it’s time to go on a journey of discovery.

After identifying who you’re as a mom, that’s your blogging niche!

2. Don’t DIY Your Blog

The DIY movement is on fire right now, and there is no doubt mommies around the world have played a big role in making DIY a thing.

However, it’s one thing to DIY a baby toys or fix a broken sink, and it’s quite another to DIY a blog. You see, if you get a baby toy wrong, you have endless chances to make it right. But if you start off your blog with a hideous theme and design, you will lose some readers for good, or it will take so much effort to pull them back with a fresh redesign.

Yes, it’s a personal blog, but don’t try to work the technical details if you have no web design and development expertise. Hire a pro to do the job. This will give you the best chance of launching your blog with a bang!

3. Your Bio Speaks Volumes About You

When a new reader lands on a mommy blog, one of the first they want to find out is more info about the author of the blog. Is she married or single? How many kids does she have? Is she a work at home mommy?

Readers want to connect with you. They want to know whether you share any similarities as moms.

Make it easy for them by crafting a detailed bio or about me page. Besides the obvious details, state what you enjoy doing. If you’re a lover of wine and books, say it! If you can’t stand veganism, shout it!

You don’t want people going to review sites like Side By Side Reviews to try and find out more about you and your blog.

4. Go Social

Is there anyone who isn’t on social media these days?

Social media and blogging go hand in hand. As your developer works on your personal blog, you should be creating profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and on any other social platform that appeals to your target audience.

Focus on growing a social following. Share posts regularly and engage with your followers.

Mommies Can Start Successful Personal Blogs

We’re not going to lie: Setting up a personal blog is easy. Grow it into a top blog in the mommy niche is the real task. A task that requires consistency, patience, resilience, creativity and continuous learning.

Thankfully, we’ve fleshed out the best tips you can use to give your blog the best chances of being successful.

Need more tips? Explore out thrifty bloggers section.

5 Legitimate Home Business Ideas for Women in 2018

home businessDid you know there are 38 million businesses that are based out of the home in the U.S.?

Yup, in the U.S. alone there are 38 million home-businesses which generate $472 billion in annual revenue. Of those 38 million, 20% of those businesses earn $100,000-$500,000 each year.

What we’re trying to get at is there are tons of people running businesses out of their homes and earning comfortable livings doing so.

Women overwhelmingly start home businesses (72%) for many reasons. They can spend more time with their kids, they like the flexibility, or they want to escape corporate life.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a business at home, check out our list of home business ideas for women.

Start an Etsy Shop

Do you have a knack for calligraphy? Jewelry making? Leatherwork?

Starting an Etsy shop is one of the most popular home business ideas for women. You can do what you love every day and see the joy your crafts bring to your customers.

You can also sell your crafts at farmers markets. This also gives your online shop more exposure.

Be an Online Broker-Dealer

If you’re coming out of corporate financial services, being an online broker-dealer is a lucrative position. Many professionals leaving corporate finance will set up shop at home and collect clients from past dealings.

There are a number of online exchanges where you can purchase investment vehicles for your clients. For example, TripleNet Gateway specializes in NNN property leasing investments and allows broker-dealers to purchase and sell on their exchange.

Explore Blogging

Starting a blog is one of the most attractive home business ideas for women. Blogging can be a highly lucrative business for those who carefully cultivate their online community and boost their web traffic.

There are no restrictions on what you can blog about. You can blog about one of your passions, provide expertise from your professional field, or start direct selling.

Through your blog, you can also sell products and services. For example, you could career coach or write a cookbook and sell it.

Found a Virtual Assistant Service

Virtual assistants are in high demand for all types of businesses. For the most part, businesses or individuals who need VAs are finding them through websites where VAs can post their experience.

This means there is still a gap for VA services that recruit, interview, and train VA specifically for each client. Starting a VA business is highly lucrative, especially if you already have a list of people who would benefit from having a VA.

Offer Coaching

If you like helping people achieve their goals, online coaching might be for you. With so many ways to communicate over the internet, there’s hardly a limit to who your clients can be.

The type of coaching you go into will mostly rely on your background. Popular types of coaching include career, business, fitness, life, financial, and direct-sales coaching. The list goes on.

There’s No Limit to Home Business Ideas for Women

Your mind is the limit when it comes to starting a business at home. You can do practically anything as long as you can figure out how to monetize it.

You can find tons of resources for home business ideas for women online. There are even Facebook and LinkedIn groups where women can encourage each other on their home business journey.

Once you decide on your home business, you’ll need a home office. Learn more about setting up a home office here.

How to Start and Monetize an Interior Design Blog

You’re proud of the work you’ve done. And why shouldn’t you be? Your interior design skills are on another level.

If you’ve ever wondered how you can turn your portfolio into a money-making machine, you’ve come to the right place.

Today’s post is all about how to start an interior design blog and monetize it properly. Read on.

1. Upfront Costs

The first thing you’ll need to do is pay for hosting and a domain name. The combination will cost you $10 a month, give or take a few bucks.

If you don’t want to drop any cash into this venture quite yet, there are free options available for you.

You can start a Tumblr page as well as other photograph-heavy social media outlets to books views and readership. After you start to get regular readers and viewers, keep these free outlets for SEO purposes and then move on to the real deal.

When we start talking about “real deal” blogging, we’re talking about WordPress, which currently is powering nearly one-third of the internet.

2. Why WordPress?

It’s incredibly easy to use. You can set yourself up with a basic blog in about an hour.

After deciding on and paying for hosting, you will pick a theme. This is your layout and it’s important to pick something that looks great without distracting your readers. You can choose from thousands of free and premium themes.

One of the greatest things about WordPress is the plugins. There are thousands of freebies and premium tools to help your site. They do everything from linking Amazon products to your blog to help make the site faster.

3. Create Content

Like any other site on the internet, interior design blogs need content. Create a schedule and stick to it. Especially in the beginning, you’ll be using your social media accounts to promote your content.

Make sure you have internal and external links as well as a call to action somewhere in your posts.

4. Monetization of Your Interior Design Blog

One of the easiest, but least profitable ways to monetize is your blog is to throw up some ads. While this will likely only bring in a couple of dollars a month, as viewership increases, you can use higher-quality ad networks to increase revenue.

Do you have ideas for products of your own? Maybe it’s a planner or a downloadable guide?

Give a little taste of these items by using them as incentives to generate your email list. As your subscriber list grows, create advanced or better products that require payment.

Affiliate marketing is a popular way for an interior design blog to make money. You recommend products on your blog and when people click on your link and make a purchase, you receive a commission on the sale.

It’s simple in theory, difficult in practice, but it can be done and you can make some nice money from it.

Wrapping It Up

You need to make sure you’re writing and creating content for yourself. This is your diary. Your passion.

A close second should be making readers and Google happy, as they’ll be the one sending traffic to your site.

If you enjoyed today’s post, you’ll find this one on tips to get more blogging traffic helpful as well.

5 Simple Tips To Get More Blog Traffic

More Blog TrafficYou started your blog because you’re passionate about what you do—whether it’s being a mom, an accountant, a gardener or a social media marketing whiz.

But let’s face it. You also want to get more blog traffic. You want to develop a following. And maybe you’d even like to make some money on the side through affiliate partners.

You want to find like-minded people who like what you have to say. You know they’re out there. How do you get them to your website?

Fortunately, there are some great ways to get more blog traffic on a budget. Let’s explore how.

1) Get a Real Domain Name

When you started your blog, you may have just been testing the waters. But now you’re ready to give it a go for real.

If you’ve still got Wix, Weebly or BlogSpot on your domain name, it’s time for an upgrade. If you’re serious about becoming a professional blogger, you need a real domain name.

Your website name is a major part of your personal brand. If you’re hanging on to a free domain name to save money, you’re costing yourself more.

People won’t take you or your website seriously.

Even if it’s not true, it looks like you’re just one of the many weekend bloggers who half-heartedly throws a blog together. If it looks like you don’t care, they won’t care either.

You could get more blog traffic just by showing that you’re committed to your fans, your blog, and your topics.

Choose a platform that’s fast and mobile-friendly. Get your blog set up. And then find a domain name that exemplifies what you do.

2) Welcome Visitors with a Great Experience

A great visitor experience will help you get more blog traffic because people will come back and share with friends.

As a bonus, providing the right experience helps improve your visibility in searches. When your site is optimized for people, you’re on your way to being optimized for search engines as well.

Site Speed

Do everything you can to make your blog as fast as possible. Nearly1/2 of people expect your blog to load in 2 seconds. After 3 seconds, most people will go somewhere else. If it takes over 5 seconds, you won’t get much traffic at all.

Free speed testers like WebPageTest.org will help you understand if you’re on the right track. Google also has a speed test but it’s not compatible with Ajax-based sites like Wix.

If your site is slow, you can do some things by yourself to speed it up.

  1. Reduce the sizes of your images.
  2. Don’t overdo videos
  3. Don’t overdo embedding
  4. Check your site each time you add something new

If you want to learn to do more, take free coding classes at W3Schools or pay to get a class certificate.

But check with your web host first. Some sites that run on templates give you limited access to the code.

Navigation

You might be amazed by the clever navigation options made available to you. But to provide the right experience, keep navigation simple and intuitive. If your visitors have trouble knowing what to click when they visit, they won’t come back.

And they won’t tell their friends.

That’s less traffic for you.

Use vibrant images and great writing to wow your visitors. But keep navigation simple.

Mobile-Friendly

Test the mobile-friendliness of your site. Over 1/2 of traffic is on mobile devices. Your blog should look amazing on it.

Some quick tips for mobile-friendliness include:

  1. Making sure your web host adjusts the page for mobile (or you do)
  2. Using large, easy-to-read fonts
  3. Keeping paragraphs short
  4. Eliminating distracting elements on mobile
  5. Checking how your site appears on mobile

3) Think Outside the Blog

You can’t get more traffic because people can’t find you.But as long as people can’t find you, you remain hidden at the bottom of the barrel on search engines like Google.

A vicious cycle plagues your site.

Reach out to other bloggers with similar blogs. Be on the lookout for opportunities to guest post on the other site. Agree to write them an amazing post in exchange for a link, bio, and pic.

Many sites these days use Gravatar. You can upload your pic and information. Then when you guest post, your Gravatar follows you from site to site.

What you’re doing is leveraging someone else’s traffic to gain a following. Through this, you can earn your own traffic and build a stronger personal brand.

Ever heard of the Oprah-Effect? It’s like that but on a smaller scale.

4) Get Social on Social

Get more blog traffic by sharing with others on social media.

You’re probably already active on social media. But social media for a blog can be very different.

You may want to start a dedicated account for the blog or use your own. Share inspirations and other blogger’s posts. In addition, entice people back to your website to check out your latest blogs.

Show that you’re part of a community in your niche. And through it, build a following of people who will visit and love your website.

Use free automation tools like HootSuite to schedule posts for maximum impact. They also have great tools to help you curate posts to share on your account.

Be personal and approachable in your posts—not overly promotional—to earn a following.

5) Be Consistent & Stick with It

It can take a little time to build up your blog. For a while, the people may come in at a trickle. It can be discouraging.

But fake it ’til you make it. As you continue to drive more people to your site, your visibility in search engines and on social media will rise.

You’ll be able to do less promotion and more working on your blog. You can even monetize your blog with affiliate ads if you want. But don’t overdo it and lose your loyal fans.

Set a schedule for your posts. Your goal should be 1-4 amazing articles a week. Some of the most successful bloggers post 15-20 pieces of content a month.

But never sacrifice quality for quantity.That could hurt your blogger brand. Keep fresh ideas flowing in by spending time on other blogs, social and forum sites to see what people are talking about.

Start a topic log where you jot topics every time one comes to mind. This way, you never run out of ideas when it’s time to write.

If you have trouble keeping up, hire a content writer to help manage your blog. If you’re monetizing your traffic with affiliate marketing, they’ll easily pay for themselves.

Get More Blog Traffic Now

With these tips and consistent effort, you can quickly begin to get more blog traffic. Get serious with a real domain name. Be active on social. And create the right “customer experience”.

When you do, people will want to come back and tell their friends.

For more thrifty momma tips on everything from DIY to running a business, check out our blog.

Be Like Bob Vila: 5 Amazing Home Improvement Blog Ideas

home improvement blogRunning a home improvement blog is really hot right now. People are turning to DIY and home improving today. However, trends are changing really fast and decorating is turning into an expensive hobby. So, these people need resources. They need experts to guide them.

Whether it is a home improvement post or a DIY tutorial for a cool coffee table, your readers will just love it. Really, anything can work, and we are here to help you with your inspiration.

Here are five home improvement blog ideas you need to read now to express yourself or even make some extra money online:

1. Furniture Hacking – DIY Blog

When IKEA, among other inexpensive brands, became a worldwide phenomenon, people were not happy with the idea that everybody owned the stuff they had given money to get.

As a result, they started enhancing their furniture using a bunch of different materials.

Blogs about hacking your furniture turned into a huge sensation, so why not make one yourself? Just make sure that you have original ideas and get your creative juices flowing.

There is a lot of competition out there! IKEA hackers is a great example.

2. Remodeling Blog

Vintage has always been in fashion. So it comes as no surprise there is still a huge demand for blogs about taking old furniture to the next level. A blog about remodeling is always relevant!

However, just keep in mind that you need to find really great, old stuff and monitor their transformation through photos or video including a step by step guide.

You don’t just have to inspire your audience but also guide it. Do not get confused, though. There is a difference between hacking and remodeling. Hacking has to do mostly with new furniture. Remodeling is mainly about vintage items.

Also, remodeling is not just about vintage furniture. Even an article about a drywall access panel replacement could be considered as a “remodeling blog post.” Just be creative!

3. Home-Tour Blog

Who doesn’t love a peek into someone’s personal space? Let’s be completely honest. Everybody loves a secret look into an inspiring place that will help them get a couple of ideas about their new apartment.

Get yourself a good photo camera, take great shots of apartments that might offer some great inspiration and create your blog.

If you want to, you can always narrow the topic and make it more niche-y. Just tour your audience around living rooms or bedrooms instead of full homes.

4. Tiny Homes Blog

“Tiny Homes” is a huge niche these days. And we mean HUGE. People, nowadays, tend to move to smaller places either to save money or just because they realize how little they actually need to feel happy with their surroundings.

Just feature some beautiful tiny places and give advice to people who want to live in one too.

Special Tip: Japan and China are two great places to look for inspiring tiny homes.

5. Or a General Home Improvement Blog

Okay, you can always follow the experts’ path and go for a blog that includes all the different areas this topic can cover. You can write tutorials, showcase home-tours, mention all the latest trends. You can do anything that you want to do, really!

But you have to be careful. If you make your blog too general and make people believe you are the number one resource, you have to meet the standards you set for yourself. And these standards need both tons of work and quality content.

The good news is that ThriftyMomma can make life much easier for you. Sign-up for free and prepare for some serious blogging tips.

How to Start a Mommy Blog: Tips and Reviews on Fashion, DIY, and Being Thrifty

how to start a mommy blog

Thrifty Momma knows that a blog is a great way to earn money and help other women.

You can get tips on how to travel with your kids and keep your sanity or learn how to lose weight on a budget.

Wondering how to start a mommy blog means you’re preparing to help women all over the world look, live, and feel better.

How great is that?

But there are definite, strategic ways to approach a new mommy blog that can make or break its success. Follow these tips and people will be coming to you asking how to start a mommy blog.

Be Consistent

One of the best ways to build a following is to be consistent. If your readers know they can count on you for quality information, they will keep coming back for more.

But beginning mommy bloggers should also set their own personal expectations for blog volume. Being consistent means dedicating yourself to a certain amount of blog posts per week or month.

Consistency will pay off with visitors. One company was able to increase their inbound traffic by 3000% in a single year by creating an average of 4 blog posts per week.

How To Start a Mommy Blog: Stay Focused

The benefit of you starting a mommy blog is that you know what other mommies are interested in. Plus, you have your own unique experience to share with others to help them save money and live a better life.

The more focused you can be in your content, the better. Share your unique passions and experiences, and your regular blog posts will feel more like fun and less like work.

Whether you’re thrilled with the products at Sock Club Canada, or have incredible hot deals to share, be specific and keep it interesting.

Choose a Platform

There are great hosting sites and platforms to choose from. For beginning mommy bloggers, it’s important to pick a platform that is easy to use and can expand along with your business.

Your unique focus and consistency are the most important elements of your blog. While the platform can make life easier for you in terms of posting and functionality, your content is the key to your blog.

Guest Star

One of the best ways to start a following is to offer to write guest posts on other blogs. Many blogs will even pay for you to write for them.

The same is true once you get your own blog up and running. You can help other mommy bloggers out there share their voice and build an audience.

As long as you are sticking to your niche and staying focused, there is plenty of room for successful bloggers around the world.

Share Your Wisdom

Your content should be interesting enough that if you encourage people to share it, they will. But also, you should share your own experience and build a network of blogs you follow and share from.

Let’s get started sharing now. Take a moment to leave a comment below on your biggest challenges in starting your own mommy blog.